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Burnel or Brunellus the Ass

If two heads are better than one How much better is three. For the time has come When Translators cannot agree. Nigel wrote the words in Latin script And much time has passed With many Learned Ones pen’s dipt In deciding what the story of the *** encripted. It is not a simple tract Written in riddles true For the reader to go forth and back, Trying to decide if the *** is you. Such it is as we begin with the translation Of Graydon W. Regenos of Speculum stultorum by Nigellus Wireker who May not have been Himself, it’s true. Followed up in short order By J. H. Mozley Who retitled the text As “A Mirror for Fools” Now Regenos, as scholars are bent to do Translated words and phrases to Sometimes missing the meaning Of the text as it was demeaning. Trying to be accurate in the sense That a Dictionary presents. Then along comes Mozley with good intent (With passing criticism of Regenos sent.) Thinking he knew to the letter And tried to make the rhymes better. To both we are grateful for their efforts Which nevertheless come up short. So with a quirky pen and pencil to the test Mahtrow seeks to bring life to the beast. So call him Burnel the *** if you choose Or Daun Brunellus while somewhat loose, By Nigel Longcamp or Nigellus Wireker The name of the *** is just a moniker. ¿And perhaps the “***” is you? sidi Nigellus Wireker (aka Nigel Longchamp)* Nigellus Wireker is the author of the Speculum stultorum (A Mirror of Fools, written about 1000), a satire in Latin elegiac verse on the clergy and society in general. The hero is Burnellus, or Brunellus, a foolish ***, who goes in search of a means of lengthening his tail. Brunellus first visits Salernum to obtain drugs for this purpose. However, he loses these when attacked by a Cistercian monk with dogs. (And loses whatever he had as a tail as well) He then goes to Paris to study, but makes no progress there, being unable to remember the city's name after eight years of study. (And when called upon, answers with a “bray”.) He then decides to join a religious order, but instead founds a new one by taking the easiest parts from the rules of other orders. Finally, his master recaptures him. The poem was immensely popular for centuries. Under the title "Daun Burnel the Asse" it is quoted by Chaucer in line 15328 of the "Nun's Priest's Tale." (parenthesis added to add to the internet’s mention of the book and its author.)

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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